PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT

PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT Limited Edition video card review: a thousand devils! / Video cards


A PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT Limited Edition model with number 733 came to our testing laboratory, and in total, 1000 of these video cards were sold to computer stores on our planet. It turns out that even if we ignore the total shortage of graphics accelerators, we are dealing with a rather rare series of Radeon RX 6800 XT. So let’s check whether it’s worth hunting for this novelty – or not.

PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT

PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT

⇡ # Specifications and design features

It is worthwhile, however, to immediately make it clear: today in the review we are talking about the Limited Edition model – you can recognize it by the colorful packaging and rather original equipment. On sale this model can be found under the label AXRX 6800XT 16GBD6-2DHCE / OC. However, the “regular” version of Red Devil (AXRX 6800XT 16GBD6-3DHE / OC) has also been released, which has a less premium status. I believe this model will be widely available when this whole mining saga finally ends. But it is precisely in terms of characteristics that both “Red Devils” are identical.

Radeon RX 6800 XT (reference) PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT
GPU
Name Navi 21 XT Navi 21 XT
Microarchitecture RDNA 2 RDNA 2
Technological process, nm 7 nm FinFET 7 nm FinFET
Number of transistors, million 26800 26800
Boost clock frequency, MHz 2250 2340
Number of shader ALUs 4608 4608
Number of texture mapping units 288 288
ROP number 128 128
RAM
Bus width, bit 256 256
Chip type GDDR6 SDRAM GDDR6 SDRAM
Clock frequency, MHz (bandwidth per contact, Mbps) 2000 (16000) 2000 (16000)
I / O bus PCI Express 4.0 x16 PCI Express 4.0 x16
Volume, MB 16192 16192
Image output
Image output interfaces DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1 DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1
Energy consumption
TBP / TDP, W 300 300
Price
Retail price, rub. 59,900 (recommended on release date) ~ 100,000

I strongly recommend reading the article “I could: a review of AMD Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT video cards”, in which all the main features of the RDNA 2 microarchitecture, as well as Navi 21 graphics chips are analyzed in detail. that the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT model received a good factory overclocking of the processor – +90 MHz in Boost mode. The rest of the characteristics of the novelty are shown in the table above.

At the time of this writing, I did not find the Limited Edition model on sale. The usual Red Dragon was available in Moscow only in three stores – and everywhere they asked for 99,000 rubles. Let me remind you that the recommended price of the Radeon RX 6800 XT is 59,900 rubles, and today it looks like a kind of mockery of gamers who want to buy a powerful video card. However, I will no longer touch upon the topic of the shortage of game accelerators in this article. I’m tired of it.

The limited edition PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT comes in a very nice and expensive cardboard box. Inside, in addition to the video card itself, you will find a colorful user manual, designed in the form of a poster, access to the club of owners of elite accelerators of the Red Devil series, an ARGB backlight cable, a sticker and two replaceable buttons for your keyboard, decorated in the demonic style of the series. I consider this package to be at least original, and the theme with interchangeable keys is becoming more and more popular.

Recently, a review of the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro + video card was released on our website, and we see that you will not find compact versions of the Radeon RX 6800 XT on sale. There is nothing surprising in this, since the power consumption of the video card is serious 300 watts. PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT is no exception: it is 320 mm long and 60 mm thick (three expansion slots in the case).

Image source: ComputerBase.de

Image source: ComputerBase.de

The cooler cover is made of plastic and metal, so the video card looks very impressive. The adapter is equipped with RGB-backlighting, and the LEDs in it resemble flames flaring up more and more at the “tail” of the video card. The backlight of the Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT can be configured both in the proprietary PowerColor software and in the applications of the motherboard manufacturers – for this, the video card must be connected using the supplied 3-pin cable.

The Red Devil logo on the back of the board is also highlighted.

The 3-pin ARGB header itself is located at the top of the PCB, closer to the I / O panel. In my opinion, in this case, it will not be very convenient to stretch the wire, and it will constantly, as they say, irritate the eyes.

The BIOS switch is located next to it. Default (OC) mode activates the factory overclocked GPU. The name of the preset Silent speaks for itself.

The back of the video card PCB is protected by a metal backplate. In this case, it plays the role of a “bridge structure”, increasing the rigidity of the device. This plate is not part of the cooling system, since it does not come into contact with the elements of the printed circuit board in any way.

The PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT cooler is equipped with two 100mm and one 90mm fans. Each Carlson uses two ball bearings, which, according to the manufacturer, quadruples the life of the cooling system. The fans have fairly large and wide blades – PowerColor believes this design increases airflow and pressure by 60%.

On the I / O panel, you’ll find one HDMI output, two DisplayPorts, and one USB Type-C compatible with mini-DisplayPort. For added convenience, the video outputs are highlighted.

The PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT is pretty easy to disassemble. At the heart of the cooler is a massive radiator with seven copper heat pipes and two large sections of aluminum plates. A large nickel-plated copper plate contacts the GPU and memory chips. Two more plates soldered to the radiator serve to cool the power converter elements.

The power subsystem of the “Red Devil” has 19 phases, 16 of which, under the control of the Infineon XDPE132G5D PWM controller, are responsible for the GPU. Each channel includes International Rectifier TDA21472 power stages. The three phases for GDDR6 memory are controlled by the International Rectifier IR35217 controller.

Sixteen gigabytes of memory are recruited with eight Samsung K4ZAF325BM-HC16 chips. They run at 16 Gbps bandwidth and are not factory overclocked.

Well, the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT’s stuffing definitely inspires confidence.

⇡ # Testing methodology and stand

Compare the Radeon RX 6800 XT with many other graphics adapters – in all popular resolutions – in this article. In this review, I compared the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT to the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro + and Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro OC. The complete test bench is shown in the table below.

Testbed configuration
CPU Intel Core i9-10900K, 10 cores and 20 threads, 3.7 (5.3) GHz
Motherboard ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (WI-FI)
RAM DDR4-3600 (16-16-16-28), 4 × 8 GB
Video cards Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro +
PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT
Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro OC
Storage device Samsung 970 EVO 1 TB
Power Supply Corsair AX1000 1000W
CPU cooling system NZXT KRAKEN X62
Housing Open stand
Monitor NEC EA244UHD
Operating system Windows 10 Pro x64
Software for video cards
AMD 21.1.1
NVIDIA 461.09
Additional software
Removing drivers Display Driver Uninstaller 18.0.2.3
FPS measurement Fraps 3.5.99
FRAFS Bench Viewer
Overclocking and monitoring GPU-Z 2.30.0
MSI Afterburner 4.6.3
Optional equipment
Thermal imager Fluke Ti400
Sound level meter Mastech MS6708
Wattmeter watts up? PRO

The graphics cards were loaded using the game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (maximum graphics quality settings, 4K resolution) for two hours. Tester’s performance was measured by 3DMark Time Spy, 3DMark Fire Strike and Unigine Superposition benchmarks.

The room temperature at the time of testing was 22 degrees Celsius.

The noise level was measured using a Mastech MS6708 device installed opposite the video card at a distance of 15 cm.

The video cards were tested in 16 games in three popular resolutions: Full HD, WQHD and Ultra HD. A complete list of applications and graphics settings is provided below:

  • World of Tanks EnCore RT. DirectX 11. Benchmark. Ultra mode, RT – off.
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive. DirectX 9. FPS Benchmark card. Multi-core processing – incl. Maximum quality.
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. DirectX 11. Novigrad and surroundings. Maximum quality.
  • GTA V. DirectX 11. City. Maximum quality, FXAA + 2x MSAA, advanced quality settings – on, 16x AF, image resolution scale – off.
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. DirectX 11. Training mode. Ultra mode.
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider. DirectX 12. Secret city. Maximum quality, DXR – off, TAA.
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. “Highest” mode.
  • Battlefield V. DirectX 12. The Last Tiger Mission. Ultra mode, TAA, DXR – off.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2. Vulkan. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality (advanced settings – off), TAA.
  • Gears 5. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra mode.
  • Metro: Exodus. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra mode.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn. DirectX 12. Meridian. Top quality, TAA. Death Stranding. DirectX 12. Prologue. Maximum quality.
  • A Total War Saga: TROY. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. Max mode, 4x AA (Ultra HD – no AA).
  • DOOM Eternal. Vulkan. Beginning of the game. Ultra mode.
  • Mafia: Definitive Edition. DirectX 11. Walking mode. Maximum quality.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion. DirectX 12. City trip. Maximum quality, TAA, DXR – off.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 1.1. DirectX 12. City trip. The quality mode is “Impressive”, the quality of the shadows is incredible, DXR is off.

Game performance was measured using the well known CapFrameX program. It allows you to get the render time of each frame. The use of the 99th percentile instead of the minimum number of frames per second is due to the desire to cleanse the results of random performance spikes that were provoked by reasons not directly related to the operation of the main components of the platform.

⇡ # Test results

⇡ # Clock frequencies, power consumption, temperature, noise level and overclocking

PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT fans start spinning when the GPU heats up to 50 degrees Celsius, but you can adjust this parameter yourself in the video card driver. Some suspicious users, for example, can completely disable the semi-passive mode of the accelerator.

Summary of the operation and configuration of PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT
Stand Open
Video card operating mode Silent (Silent mode) Nominal (OC Mode) Rage Mode Overclocking
Declared GPU frequency (Boost) and memory speed 2250 MHz, 16 Gbps 2340 MHz, 16 Gbps 2340 MHz, 16 Gbps 2650 MHz, 17.2 Gbps
Real GPU frequency in The Witcher III: minimum, maximum, average 2195 MHz 2266 MHz 2371 MHz 2561 MHz
2328 MHz 2401 MHz 2424 MHz 2574 MHz
2225 MHz 2308 MHz 2380 MHz 2570 MHz
Maximum noise level 37.4 dBA 39 dBA 39 dBA 40.2 dBA
Stand power consumption: average, maximum 369 Wt 401 Wt 401 Wt 429 Wt
372 Wt 404 Wt 409 Wt 451 Wt
GPU Voltage: Average, Maximum 1.058V 1.114V 1.150V 1.149V
1.150V 1.150V 1.150V 1.150V
Maximum GPU Temperature 76 ° C 72 ° C 73 ° C 72 ° C
Work of the cooler of the video card in passive mode
Mode status Provided
GPU temperature in 2D (open stand, idle 20 minutes) 48 ° C
Fans start rotating at GPU temperature 50 ° C
Maximum speed of fan (s)
Frequency 3100 rpm
Noise level 63.1 dBA
Maximum GPU Temperature 51 ° C
Performance, points
Test results in 3DMark Time Spy (Graphics Score) 16792 17261 17515 18560
Test results in 3DMark Fire Strike (Graphics Score) 50311 51695 52052 55348
Test results in Unigine Superposition (1080p Extreme) 9977 10209 10300 11004
Decrease / increase in performance in benchmarks -3%, -3%, -2% 0% 1%, 1%, 1% 8%, 7%, 8%
Heating the video card (nominal operating mode)

Heating the video card (nominal operating mode)

As I said, the hero of the review has a pretty good factory overclocking – in fact, the chip’s frequency is kept above 2300 MHz most of the time. I will not name the noisy PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT – and this fact applies to both modes of the device.

The cooler of the “Red Devil” copes with its task perfectly: the graphics processor heats up to a maximum of 72 degrees Celsius; the memory is cold, and the heating of the hottest point reaches only 92 degrees Celsius with an allowable value of 110 ° C. By all indications, we are dealing with a perfectly designed graphics card: quiet and cold.

Please note that the Silent mode did not significantly affect the performance of the test bench – it became slower in benchmarks by only 2-3%. In a well-ventilated case, you shouldn’t be afraid of overheating PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT using Silent mode. It is also interesting that the inclusion of the Rage mode turned out to be, in fact, useless – the card is already set at the factory for maximum performance without a sharp increase in noise and heating.

Cooler PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT is able to work much more efficiently. If you spin the CO fans to the maximum (~ 3100 rpm), then the GPU will heat up to a maximum of 51 degrees Celsius. It turns out that it is quite possible to drop more than 20 degrees!

The “Red Devil” showed itself very well in acceleration. I managed to increase the GPU frequency from 2340 to 2650 MHz – the real chip frequency averaged 2570 MHz. This required increasing the capacity limit by 15%. The memory was overclocked from 16 to 17.2 Gbps – this is the standard value and it is limited by the video card driver.

GPU overclocking by 11% is, on average, overshadowed by the fact that the video card began to work noticeably louder (40+ dBA is already clearly audible, although the temperatures of the PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT did not rise) – this is firstly. Secondly, this overclocking has a “corn flavor”, as benchmark performance has increased by only 7-8%. In games, the increase in frame rate in most cases will be even less, since other factors, such as processor dependence, also affect system performance.

And yet, against the background of competitors PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT showed itself the best. On the Internet, you can find more impressive results of the “Red Devil” – those in which the chip frequency rises to 2700 MHz and does not fall below 2600 MHz. Here it will not be a sin to remind one common truth: overclocking of hardware is always a lottery. Hope you get lucky.

⇡ # Performance in games

When we compare different models of video cards belonging to the same series, then, studying their level of performance, we know in advance that no miracle will happen here. So PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT turned out to be slower than its SAPPHIRE counterpart by only 1% in the most non-processor-dependent resolution. So when choosing a video card, I urge you to look at the frequencies declared in the characteristics of the device as the last thing.

In general, we see that the Radeon RX 6800 XT successfully competes with the GeForce RTX 3080 in games without enabling ray tracing. Interestingly, the inclusion of SAM technology makes the video card less processor-dependent – in some games the minimum FPS increases noticeably. However, already in Ultra HD resolution, NVIDIA’s flagship is slightly ahead. If you are reading our reviews of video cards, then such results will not be a revelation.

We can safely state that in Full HD and WQHD resolutions any Radeon RX 6800 XT feels just great. But in Ultra HD in a number of projects, alas, you will have to reduce the picture quality.

Test results, Full HD, FPS (more is better)
GeForce RTX 3080 (1740 MHz, 19 Gbps) Radeon RX 6800 XT (2360 MHz, 16 Gbps) PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT (2340 MHz, 16 Gbps)
AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN
World of Tanks 394 263 385 248 383 248
CS: GO 609 166 555 160 560 170
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 281 190 290 195 290 200
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt 192 133 166 133 160 130
Gta v 124 90 108 77 108 77
Red dead redemption 2 120 97 130 97 130 97
Assassin’s creed odyssey 105 75 93 68 92 68
Gears 5 164 103 180 131 180 136
Horizon zero dawn 186 110 204 127 204 127
Death stranding 216 177 215 175 214 174
Battlefield v 196 132 197 135 197 135
Shadow of the tomb raider 184 153 193 168 193 168
Watch Dogs: Legion 109 87 115 90 117 91
A Total War Saga: TROY 142 108 140 110 139 110
Metro: Exodus 126 62 124 67 123 66
Cyberpunk 2077 86 69 92 70 92 70
DOOM Eternal 420 320 427 334 430 330
Test results, WQHD, FPS (more is better)
GeForce RTX 3080 (1740 MHz, 19 Gbps) Radeon RX 6800 XT (2360 MHz, 16 Gbps) PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT (2340 MHz, 16 Gbps)
AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN
World of Tanks 266 178 247 162 248 160
CS: GO 500 115 512 112 516 118
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 249 181 213 156 204 152
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt 154 105 151 127 148 125
GTA V 122 87 108 76 108 77
Red Dead Redemption 2 98 79 106 83 106 82
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 90 68 93 68 92 67
Gears 5 137 100 150 122 149 121
Horizon Zero Dawn 160 112 170 119 170 120
Death Stranding 168 140 169 137 169 138
Battlefield v 165 125 185 133 184 132
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 144 113 152 120 150 120
Watch Dogs: Legion 87 73 87 71 87 70
A Total War Saga: TROY 103 79 98 72 97 71
Metro: Exodus 103 58 101 58 100 57
Cyberpunk 2077 57 47 58 46 58 46
DOOM Eternal 325 250 310 253 311 250
Результаты тестирования, Ultra HD, FPS (больше — лучше)
GeForce RTX 3080 (1740 МГц, 19 Гбит/с) Radeon RX 6800 XT (2360 МГц, 16 Гбит/с) PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT (2340 МГц, 16 Гбит/с)
AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN AVG 1% MIN
World of Tanks 135 93 124 80 121 77
CS: GO 349 72 415 75 420 81
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds 140 112 114 93 110 91
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt 90 72 84 72 83 71
GTA V 109 77 98 73 97 73
Red Dead Redemption 2 67 56 66 53 65 53
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 65 55 64 52 65 52
Gears 5 81 65 83 69 82 68
Horizon Zero Dawn 101 80 95 78 94 77
Death Stranding 100 86 100 83 99 81
Battlefield v 97 78 100 80 99 80
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 81 67 79 66 77 65
Watch Dogs: Legion 54 45 50 43 50 43
A Total War Saga: TROY 89 74 90 74 90 73
Metro: Exodus 67 45 65 42 64 42
Cyberpunk 2077 28 24 26 22 26 22
DOOM Eternal 180 130 166 130 165 130

⇡#findings

Пожалуй, делать в обзоре PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT Limited Edition какой-либо большой и развернутый вывод я не буду. Во-первых, с быстродействием любой Radeon RX 6800 XT все уже ясно: это достойный конкурент GeForce RTX 3080 — видеокарты обладают схожим уровнем быстродействия в играх без использования трассировки лучей. Во втором случае «красный» ускоритель начинает заметно отставать, но здесь устройство предлагает другие «плюшки», о которых мы рассказывали не раз.

Во-вторых, «Красный дьявол» от PowerColor на деле оказался просто отличнейшим нереференсом: тихим, холодным, с хорошим заводским разгоном, а также возможностью самостоятельно выжать еще 7-8 % в играх и бенчмарках. Все, теперь вы знаете все самое важное про PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 XT Limited Edition — да и про обычную версию тоже.

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